National Safe Food Day rally flagged off in Vadodara
TNN Feb 10, 2013, 01.23AM IST
VADODARA: The city gave the thumbs up signal to a nationwide call given by citizens groups to celebrate the anniversary of moratorium on Bt Brinjal as ‘National Safe Food Day by bringing out a rally here on Saturday.
Mayor Jyoti Pandya flagged off the rally, saying the city would ensure that the movement for safe food would gain momentum here. She was presented a basket of fresh organic vegetables which she passed on to a young activist in a symbolic move signifying the youths’ participation and responsibility towards producing safe food.
Participants at the rally – mainly farmers and volunteers from pro-organic food organizations and non-governmental organizations like Jatan Trust, Purple Crayon, Krishi Natural, Nagrik Forum, Nature Care Centre, Sahiyar, Himalaya Machinery, Pratham Enterprise and Milestone Infrastructure got together at Dairy Den Circle late in the afternoon to march towards railway station.
The rallyists wore yellow banners with a message ‘Say no to GM (genetically modified) food’ and carried placards with messages ‘I am no lab rat’ and ‘Khao safe, jiyo safe’ among others. Speakers at the rally cited growth retardation, decreased immunity, deformation of cells, kidney and liver ulcers, bleeding in stomach among ill-effects of consuming food contaminated with pesticides and artificial chemicals. Claiming that clinical trials had not been able to prove the safety aspect of GM foods, they said Indians should not allow Western GM food companies to treat this country as their lab.
In 2010, the anti-GM food lobbies had succeeded in ensuring an indefinite moratorium by environment ministry on cultivation of Bt Brinjal. Recently, the pro-organic activists who formed a citizen group for safe food, gave a call to celebrate the anniversary of the moratorium as National Safe Food Day by getting together at Jantar Mantar at Delhi on Saturday, besides organizing local rallies in various cities and towns.